Hate Him All You Want: Manny Pacquiao Will Knock You Out

mike 'shotgun' towleCorrespondent IMay 7, 2009

LAS VEGAS - MAY 02:  (R-L) Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines stands over Ricky Hatton of England after Pacquiao knocked him out in the second round during their junior welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 2, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

What's that law of the universe, that: "For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction."

This is the star of Manny Pacquiao.

When he was making noise in the lower weight divisions, he wasn't yet the loudest fighter in the sport. He wasn't ready anyways. His skills still had a long way to go, and the boxing world had bigger fish to fry, namely Floyd Mayweather Jr., and a number of others.

A lot of people thought he was a nice, explosive, albeit raw, young fighter. Others thought he was a one-trick pony. Nobody thought he was the best. So no one thought he was the worst, either.

Not that anyone thinks he's the worst today. They just don't think he's able to beat anyone he's beating.

People questioned him going up to lightweight, even against a handpicked gimme' like David Diaz. People thought Diaz was great at neutralizing the speed of faster opponents.

After Diaz, no one gave him a chance—except for all those "crazy Filipinos"—against Oscar De La Hoya. He was the naturally bigger man with much greater skills. But come fight night Pacquiao was bigger and better.

People said Oscar was drained. Still, that'd be his own fault, wouldn't it?

And just in the last couple of months we've heard countless times so-called knowledgeable fight fans criticize Pacquiao bandwagon jumpers for believing Manny had a chance against Ricky Hatton.

Ricky wouldn't let himself fight at a drained down size disadvantage like Oscar did. Ricky really is too strong. Oscar is more of a classic boxing style that doesn't utilize his natural strength as much. Ricky will manhandle the smaller Filipino.

Not only will he manhandle Pacquiao by coming into the fight more than ten pounds above the weigh-in weight, but he'll add continued improvement in head movement and defense to his boxing repertoire under the guidance of new trainer and defensive guru Floyd Mayweather Sr.

The whole self-professed knowledgeable boxing world bought it. Their whole world ate (insert expletive here). Pacquiao fans looked like they might actually know something after all.

I understand the bitter-pill Marquez fans had to swallow at the close, controversial, decision to Manny. I understand that Manny naysayers jumped on the Marquez bandwagon as well, just so they'd have a reason to hate the man.

I also understand that being proven not just wrong, but not as knowledgeable as his naysayers so often claim to be, is also a bitter pill to swallow... twice.

So it's not a surprise that Manny haters are now pretending to be both Marquez and Mayweather fans at the same time, while the two men prepare to battle. They've kind of forgotten who they're fighting.

That's right. They've forgotten. They're not fighting each other. They're fighting Manny.

For example, how in the world can the same fan defend Marquez vs. Mayweather as a legitimate challenge, and then go on to say Mayweather would destroy Pacquiao? If Marquez couldn't destroy Pacquiao, and he's supposed to give Floyd a challenge, then how does Manny NOT challenge Floyd?!

It makes no sense. Claim that Marquez deserved the win, if you like, but don't go loopy and act as if he destroyed Pacquiao. The second fight truly was a coin toss. The win was just a formality.

And it's not just the Mayweather fans. They have a right to believe their man will destroy Pacquiao. They just don't have the right to then act as if he won't destroy Marquez and it's not a chicken move to fight him at 147 or even 144.

Cotto's fans are now joining the Manny-lynch-mob.

I read on forums today where Cotto's fans emphasized that you can still neutralize the speed of Pacman with good boxing. Cotto's a better boxer. Cotto's too big. He's much bigger than Manny. He'll crush Manny.

Get the 126 pound image of Manny Pacquiao out of your heads! He's not small. He's huge. He was bigger than Ricky Hatton last week, and he'll be at least near Cotto's size come November, if it happens.

Remember what Roach, the only one who apparently knows what he's talking about, said: bigger is not necessarily stronger. And he's right.

Just because you got bigger bones, doesn't mean you pack more muscle.

And neutralizing Manny's speed? Has the world gone crazy? Superman is alive, and everyone's calling him Clark Kent.

He's not just fast. He's unseen. Out of this world. Faster than a speeding bullet on the Autobahn.

Neutralize his speed? Give up. It can't be done. Just keep your hands up and counter when you think he'll let you.

I used to be slightly embarrassed to be a Manny Pacquiao fan when in discussion with other more experienced boxing fans because I felt like a bandwagon jumper. It felt bandwagon'ish and unknowledgeable to believe in him against Oscar, and to a lesser extent, Ricky.

But now? I feel just as embarrassed and sorry for those in the knowledgeable boxing community who don't believe in this man.

Wow, are they missing out. Wow, are they hating.

But I don't hate. I keep on believing. I believe in Marquez. I believe in Mayweather and Cotto. They're all great fighters. Can they beat Manny? Sure, they've got a chance. Could they fail?